"the more I know
the less I doubt
that you know less
the more you are finding out
same difference everywhere"
~ Entombed ~ Same Difference ~
The other day when my sister and I were chatting, she shared with me her recent purchase of Coconut water. She asked me if I knew the difference between Coconut water and Coconut juice and for that matter, Coconut milk. I guessed that juice meant sugar added and milk and water were one in the same. But I really didn't know for sure. So being the curious one that I am, I started to look into the difference and if they were one in the same.
So what did I find out ... well Coconut water can also be called Coconut juice in some circles, while in others, sugar IS added, so reason to read your labels! Coconut water is only found inside the tender young coconut as you must get the coconut off the tree before it matures. At this early sage, a green husk hides the clear water inside the fruit. As the fruit ripens, the inner coconut grows sweeter, developing first into a soft substance called coconut jelly, then into the harder meat. Coconut milk is the water that comes from the meat/shell of the coconut. The color and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content.
And what is the hoopla about coconuts and the health benefits associated with it ... well they have loads of vitamins and minerals. A few key nutrients include lauric acid, chloride and iron. As well as important electrolytes potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and phosphorous. In fact the potassium content is twice the level than a banana ~ and we know electrolytes are important for optimal health of our muscular, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems.
Some studies have shown that the water/juice of a coconut may help with a number of minor to severe health conditions because of the antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory antioxidant activity within. Whew! say that 5 times fast. But seriously, this drink has been used to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as boost energy levels and increase metabolism in the body. And unless you have an allergy to coconuts, there appears to be no side effects.
So where do you buy this magical liquid ... well it is readily available in cans or bottles from many grocery stores of online retailers. Again, check your labels regarding sugar content. Fresh plastic wrapped coconuts can also be purchased at many Indian and Asian grocery stores during the summer. When buying fresh coconuts with green husks, look for those with some light brown spots as well since these are considered to have the greatest water content. On a side note, some have noted that the water from Indian coconuts tends to be sweeter than Thai. Also, when using fresh coconuts, try to drink the water as soon as possible since the nutrients can begin to dissipate after being exposed to air. And similar to other liquids, it can also be refrigerated for 10 to 12 hours if it is sealed in a tight container.
If you are shopping around and looking for a good brand of coconut water, Jess Ainscough, the Wellness Warrior (also a fellow Gerson patient) wrote a great blog post recommending a Coconut water company in Australia, C Coconut.